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Being a member of the Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Center has its privileges. In the secluded town of Rancho Santa Margarita, Samlarc residents live the country-club life in safety and security. Residents have exclusive access to Samlarc's beautifully manicured and managed parks, public pools, beach club and lagoon, as well as their own private lake and system of trails connecting to the greater Orange County trail system. Home to some of the infamous Real Housewives of Orange County, Samlarc properties attract wealthy residents who want to experience all the same lifestyle perks without the drama.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA is $1,516 for a studio, $1,633 for one bedroom, $2,078 for two bedrooms, and $2,962 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Rancho Santa Margarita has increased by 2.9% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
491
$1,516
1 BR
648
$1,633
2 BR
972
$2,078
3 BR
1,380
$2,962
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

51 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
23 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Samlarc defines a neighborhood built on leisure, combining relaxation and luxury with fitness and outdoor activity. Nightlife usually consists of candlelit dinners, movie nights or cocktails with friends at a local watering hole. The conceptual cuisine at Wafflette Cafe in neighboring Foothill attracts foodies looking for something different. Classic waffles await on order, of course, but things get exciting with pulled-pork waffle sandwiches, turkey clubs, prosciutto and brie, wraps and desserts. Locals love the smoked-salmon morning platter, featuring eggs your way and fluffy waffles. Wafflette also serves a full espresso and tea menu, along with milk shakes and frozen desserts. Brunch on the terrace with lake views describes a typical Sunday at Carmelita's Kitchen de Mexico. Languorously skirting pristine Lago Santa Margarita, Carmelita's lays out a sumptuous brunch buffet with flowing champagne. Their standard fare attracts lots of business as well, but locals brave the crowds. Carmelita's blends traditional recipes with new twists, from enchiladas de Mariscos to fajita salad, as well as a number of gluten-free options. The margarita's have the last word, from blended blackberry to classic rocks and salt, a local favorite. Residents go for the rolls at Cinnamon Productions Bakery Cafe, a local breakfast chain with only four outlets. The Rancho Santa Margarita outlet provides a full breakfast menu, but locals bee-line for the bakery and take home the star of the show, the daily-made fresh, hot cinnamon rolls. Samlarc residents know a thing or two about treating themselves, and perhaps no example of this shines brighter than Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas. Sit in a comfy leather chair, enjoy a cocktail, some sliders or truffle Parmesan fries, and wait for the previews. Cinepolis takes movie-viewing to a new level. In a play on the famous Rosarito Beach party spot Papas & Beer, local pub Tapas & Beer kicks things up a notch with an extensive selection of craft beers listed on a chalk board, and Spanish-style tapas including chorizo flatbread, Spanish meatballs and Kobe beef sliders. A full roster of cocktails also satisfies the many locals who hang out at the bar and shoot the breeze with the restaurant's neighborly and informative owner.

History

Samlarc provides the driving force behind the safe neighborhoods of Orange County's premier planned community, Rancho Santa Margarita. Housing some of the area's most expensive houses, Samlarc strives to foster a safe and high-value community for its residents. Incorporated in the mid-1980s, Rancho Santa Margarita nudges up against the softly contoured Santa Ana Mountains, a peaceful network of parks, lanes and waterways.

The central meeting place for SAMLARC residents remains the Bell Tower Regional Community Center overlooking the sprawling green of Central Park. The BTRC hosts a family oriented New Year's Eve event featuring art displays, entertainment, games and food. The summer program hosts live non-alcoholic concert events. The expansive mission-style Bell Tower interior remains available for weddings and business conferences.

Transportation

OC Transit bus 82 services the neighborhood along the main thoroughfares of Santa Margarita and San Antonio Parkways, taking commuters as far as Mission Viejo and Lake Forest north, and Laguna Niguel south. Cabs rarely frequent this somewhat cloistered neighborhood, but a quick phone or text has one waiting at your destination within a few minutes. Uber and Lyft service Rancho Santa Margarita, and a lift to John Wayne Airport hovers around $15.

The 241 Foothill Transportation Corridor cuts through Rancho Santa Margarita, affording residents access to Interstate 5 via freeway 133. Commuting to Irvine and points north often means sitting in traffic, as the 241 and a series of windy parkways provide the only ways out of the neighborhood. Rancho Santa Margarita borders two national parks on the west side.

Parking in SAMLARC neighborhoods remains free and usually ample. Shopping centers in the area provide generous lots for shoppers and diners. SAMLARC parks have bike racks and limited size lots, and most remain surrounded by neighborhood streets with free parking available.

Cost

Samlarc residents pay a smaller assessment fee than neighboring Coto de Caza, but living in a planned community with this many amenities and services boosts living costs about 15 percent above the already high state average. Those lucky enough to find a one-bedroom apartment for rent in this coveted burg pay $1,458 monthly, on average. Average cost for a pint of craft beer costs $6, but locals tend to consider higher costs equal to the great service, quality and atmosphere. Prices at the pump hold at 12 percent higher than the national average.

Shopping

Two major shopping centers service the Samlarc Rancho Santa Margarita neighborhood. The south end harbors the mission-style Plaza Antonio, while Mercado del Lago holds court over the north end adjacent to Lago Santa Margarita. Both shopping centers host a variety of chain stores and specialty shops, banking services and more.

Unique local gifts line the shelves and nooks of Willow Manor, a boutique that fits the bill for distinguished home décor. Willlow Manor stocks everything from specialty soaps, candles and unique jewelry to food and wine items. Neighborhood foodies love the local olive-oil and vinegar gift sets from Los Olivos. The encyclopedic knowledge of the owners helps shoppers narrow down the choices from Willow Manor's extensive inventory, making it easy to find that specific one-of-a-kind gift.

Neighborhood residents head to Romano's Tailoring and Clothier when they want to look their best. This family owned clothier provides courteous and helpful service with attention to every detail. Rita and her husband make new friends every day, and keep locals looking fabulous with custom tailored dresses, suits and accessories.

Samlarc residents pick up groceries at Trader Joe's along Santa Margarita Parkway and Pavilions a few minutes south on San Antonio Parkway in the Plaza Antonio. Ralphs and Albertsons service the local area surrounding Lago Santa Margarita, and a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market skirts the border of the 241 freeway.

Mexican specialties warm the heart at El Fenix Carniceria adjacent to the Samlarc neighborhood. El Fenix not only stocks classic Mexican staples, fresh produce and marinated meats, such as pollo asado and baja-style fajitas, the café cooks up classic tacos, overstuffed tortas and plates of fresh grilled carne asada.

The closest farmers market requires something of a trek to Irvine several miles north, but the Great Park farmers market provides about eight booths for fresh, local fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers, jams, nuts and prepared foods.

Parks

Samlarc maintains Rancho Santa Margarita's lovely park and trail system, which means Samlarc-affiliated residents have exclusive access to these areas using identification cards.

Members lounge at the Beach Club and Lagoon, an expansive zero-entry pool surrounded by a beach and shaded park. A system of trails connects the lagoon to eight of Samlarc's 13 parks, and locals find that using the trails to reach the business park or town center takes the stress out of running errands.

The association also maintains four junior-Olympic pools, two of which remain accessible year-round. These pools, open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., nestle amid manicured lawns, and feature cabanas and beach chairs. Residents use their Samlarc card to enter.

Samlarc's meticulously maintained parks feature sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, tennis facilities, ball fields and kids' playgrounds. Skaters and dog owners prefer Canada Vista Park, where Samlarc has teamed up with the city to provide both a skate park and an off-leash area. Residents access the OC trail connector at Canada Vista, connecting Rancho Santa Margarita to the Orange County trail system. The parks also host a variety of fitness classes for all ages. Even pets get the runaround with programs such as Wags & Wiggles training, and Doggie and Me dog-running.

Evenings often find locals walking the 1-mile perimeter of the 11.5-acre Lago Santa Margarita. More than an artificial lake, Lago Santa Margarita remains regularly maintained to control water and oxygen levels, and skimmed bi-weekly to control detritus and algae growth. This attention to detail amounts to a spectacular setting in the shadow of Saddleback's twin peaks, where locals enjoy fishing, boating, picnicking and dining at the local cafes surrounding the shore. The annual Fishing Derby and July 4th celebrations attract Orange County residents every summer. Joggers and cyclists enjoy the spaced, outdoor-workout stations surrounding the lake.

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Samlarc Apartments for Rent

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Villas Antonio Apartment Homes
22482 Alma Aldea, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
1 / 131
New
$1,725 - 2,235 1-3 Bed Available Now
844-889-7072
Villa La Paz Apartment Homes
1-2 Via Amistosa, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
1 / 66
1 hr
$1,570 - 2,030 1-2 Bed Available Now
866-906-3258
AVILA AT RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA
22751 EL PRADO, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
1 / 58
1 hr
$1,685 - 2,695 1-2 Bed Available Now
949-243-7609
Los Alisos at Mission Viejo
28601 Los Alisos Blvd, Mission Viejo, CA 92692
1 / 29
New
$1,763 - 4,948 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
866-801-4823
Skyview
21022 Los Alisos Blvd, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
1 / 63
New
$1,730 - 2,875 1-3 Bed Available Now
844-204-5823
Villas Aliento Apartment Homes
114 Aliento, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
New
$1,510 - 1,885 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
844-821-3192
Trabuco Highlands
31872 Joshua Dr, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92679
New
$1,750 - 2,400 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-274-7108
eaves Santa Margarita
111 Via Serena Via, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
11 hrs
$1,580 - 2,090 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-247-0137
1 hr
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16 Korite, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$3,200 House for Rent Available Now
844-813-8553
1 hr
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28831 Greenacres, Mission Viejo, CA 92692
$3,950 House for Rent Available Now
844-333-0297
1 hr
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6 Copperstone Ln, Mission Viejo, CA 92692
$3,400 Condo for Rent Available Now
855-673-0085
1 hr
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35 Morning Glory, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$2,500 2 Bed Available Now
951-390-2833
1 hr
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12 Calle San Luis Rey, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$3,300 Condo for Rent Available Now
949-281-5783
1 hr
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47 Via Gatillo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$4,150 House for Rent Available Now
888-309-0573
1 hr
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25 Brisa Fresca, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$4,000 House for Rent Available Now
855-448-0064
2 hrs
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10 Vista Barranca, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$1,995 Condo for Rent Available Now
844-468-6485
New
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1 Aubrieta, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$2,195 Condo for Rent Available Now
844-576-5294
2 hrs
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6 Sendero, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$3,500 House for Rent Available Now
844-644-0369
2 hrs
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21 Via Anadeja, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$4,000 House for Rent Available Now
844-458-0390
2 hrs
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30 Calle del Sur, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$3,200 House for Rent Available Now
844-442-0972
2 hrs
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6 Pinzon, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$3,350 House for Rent Available Now
844-494-4078
2 wks
24 Paseo Primero
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$2,800 Townhome for Rent Available Now
714-831-2340
15 Via Confianza
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
$1,925 Condo for Rent Available Now
6 hrs
8 Moccasin Trl
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
$3,500 House for Rent Available Now
6 hrs

Apartments for Rent in Samlarc, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Being a member of the Rancho Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Center has its privileges. In the secluded town of Rancho Santa Margarita, Samlarc residents live the country-club life in safety and security. Residents have exclusive access to Samlarc's beautifully manicured and managed parks, public pools, beach club and lagoon, as well as their own private lake and system of trails connecting to the greater Orange County trail system. Home to some of the infamous Real Housewives of Orange County, Samlarc properties attract wealthy residents who want to experience all the same lifestyle perks without the drama.

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